Sunday, November 20, 2011

Top 5 Most Disappointing Movies of 2011

I tend to set the bar a little too high when I go into movies that I have been anticipating. I admit that. But considering how much I love watching movies, I can't really be to blame for expecting more out of them than what I sometimes get. This is a tendency I will try to remedy. However, that doesn't mean I'm going to automatically like everything I see. If I did that, what has this all been about? What have I been working towards?

What did that opening paragraph have to do with anything, you might ask? I really don't know, so here is my list:

5. The Beaver

I've always been a fan of Mel Gibson. Not even his recent antics have turned me off from his past charm, and his considerable talent both in front and behind the camera. So, naturally, I had high hopes for his comeback movie 'Edge Of Darkness', which was ultimately an upset. So when I first heard about The Beaver I was slightly intrigued and perplexed at the strange plot, but expecting something great from Gibson in the very least. In the end, that is all that movie had in store for me. Mel Gibson did a great job, but the rest of the cast (and story-lines) were dull and uninteresting to me. It wasn't serious enough to be a drama, but it wasn't funny enough to be a comedy. Oh, and way to make fun of attempted suicide, Jodie Foster. You sicken me.

Expectations - 3/4

Reality - 2/4

4. A Dangerous Method

This one wasn't a surprise to me, but it certainly was a disappointment. A very sterile approach, with few technical flaws (aside from Knightley's decidedly hammy acting), there wasn't much "wrong" with 'A Dangerous Method'. But that doesn't make it good, which is what I was hoping for it to be. There was nothing, aside from Mortensen's low-key (and remarkably transformational) performance that stood out to me, and though you could argue that it is a good thing for the whole movie to blend that well with itself, I don't mean it as a compliment. I knew going into it that it would be a generic historical drama, but I was amazed at just how generic it turned out to be. Forgettable.

Expectations - 3/4

Reality - 2/4

3. Bridesmaids

With the heaps of praise pouring in from every direction, I was expecting a seriously funny movie. Instead, what I got were a handful of dirty jokes, surrounded by an even bigger handful of even dirtier jokes. Is it supposed to be funnier than, say, 'The Hangover Part II' because it's women being filthy instead of men? If so, forgive me for not finding the humor in that. There is nothing new that Bridesmaids brings to the table when it comes to plot and structure, either. In other words, this is one of the most generic movies of the year, yet people constantly praise it for its originality. I am every bit as confused as I am disappointed.

Expectations - 3/4

Reality - 1.5/4

2. Carnage

With an incredible cast and a plot-line reminiscent of both 'Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?' and 'The Exterminating Angel', I was expecting something great. Perhaps that was unfair of me, but to be fair, with Polanski in the director's chair, starring Jodie Foster, John C. Reilly, Kate Winslet, and Christoph Waltz, it was difficult for me to expect anything else. What I got was barely over and hour worth of bickering that never really goes anywhere. We are revealed almost nothing throughout its entire duration about these characters, aside from that which could easily be predicted within the first 5 minutes. The acting was solid all the way through, but the characters were one-dimensional and uninteresting -- aside from Christoph Waltz, who easily steals the show away from the rest of the cast. Dragging on over the last 20-30 minutes without any new revelations, miraculously 70 minutes proves far too long a run-time for this movie. Pretty impressive, if you ask me.

Expectations - 3.5/4

Reality - 2/4

1. Beginners

Ever since its release earlier this year I had been anticipating it, expecting a poignant, original dramatic comedy with great lead performances. In other words, I was expecting what had been advertised to me by almost every critic I read anything by. Being fan of both McGregor and Plummer, 'Beginners' looked very much to me like a serious Oscar frontrunner, despite its early release date, but after seeing it, I hope it gets swept under like many critics feared that it might. Not even Plummer (who many claim already has the Oscar in the bag) impressed me. Partnered with a clunky narrative, I didn't feel any emotional attachment to the characters. Not to mention the fact that there was nothing funny about it -- just to add insult to injury.

Expectations - 3.5/4

Reality - 1.5/4


Sara C said...

Not had the displeasure of seeing any of these! I will however be watching Carnage and Bridesmaid at some point! Great blog Jeffrey!


Not seen any of them. Intend to watch all of them.

Aditya Gokhale said...

May be a while before I get to seeing these. I do want to check out A Dangerous Method though...

Matt S said...

Interesting list, I have not seen any so I can't really comment. I often find myself setting the bar at 4/4, and that is when I seriously begin to get disappointed ;)

Colin C. said...

1.5/4 for Bridesmaids? You need to check yourself for a pulse.

Rodders said...

haven't seen any of these, but intend to give them a chance. sorry to hear you didn't enjoy them, but who knows, I may prefer them

Jeff SC said...

I expect most people will like these movies more than me. The reason I found them all so disappointing was because I also expected them to be better than they were. Oh well, I hope you guys enjoy them more than I did if you ever watch them, haha